Canal Boat Holidays In the heart of Cheshire – Cruising UNAFFECTED by the Middlewich breach.


WE are new to canal cruising , do we need a License or take a course before the holiday?

No. The boats are easy to handle. If you’ve not been on a narrow boat before, then we’ll make sure you know what you need to. Before your holiday we’ll send you our Information Pack which includes a CD ROM showing the right way to handle the boat and work locks. There is more information in the manual and cruising guides on your boat. When you arrive to start your holiday we will give you a complete brief on the canal and the boat and take you through the first lock . Our boat handover procedure is Quality Assured by the Canal and River Trust.

To help you along, we have a video of how a canal boat works, which describes the features of a typical hire boat, and also a video of how to safely navigate through a lock. It is a broad beam lock on the Rochdale canal but the principles hold true for the smaller locks of the north west.

Before you start your holiday we would ask if you could follow the following links and watch them a couple of times. It will speed up the handover process.

Which route should we choose?

If you want a leisurely trip, or this is your first time on the canals do not be overly ambitious and just ensure you have a relaxing holiday, call us if you need advice on routes. If you have canal boating experience, enjoy locks and want an active holiday with about 8 hours boating a day you can obviously aim for a longer trip. Click on the Routes Page to see all you need to know about the 6 different holiday routes you can take from Venetian.

Can we bring our pets?

Yes. Some boats are specified as pet friendly. They have wooden floors and leather upholstery so that they are easier to clean. They also undergo steam cleaning after each use to ensure they are as clean as we can make them. However, we do still ask that you keep your pets off the bed and upholstery. Any damage done by Pets will be charged.

Can we get provisions and water as we go?

Yes – there are a few shops and plenty of free water points en route.

What linen will be provided?

Double or single duvet sets with pillows, pillowcases as required. Your bedding needs will be matched to your booking form. Bath, hand and Tea towels are also provided.

What about insurance

You are covered for damage to the boat and third party claims for accidents involving the boat up to £3m. An Accidental Damage Waiver premium is included in your holiday fee which covers you for your liability towards the Insurance policy excess. You are not covered for deliberate or willful damage and we will recover our losses in this respect. For personal accidents and personal possessions, we recommend you take out your own insurance.

Can we bring any mains equipment?

We do have 240 volt supply on all the boats, so yes you can. There is already a hair dryer on the boat and there are shaver points on all the boats too.

What if we break down or have an accident?

You will have our helpline number. We will give you advice, or come quickly to sort out your problem. Remember, a distance that has taken you 3 days to cover, we will cover in an hour in the car. We are on 24 hour call.

Can we get a copy of your Brochure?

Please call or email

When will our boat be ready?

Our takeover time is 2pm. You will appreciate that we’re very busy until then making sure everything is right for you, so please don’t be early! There are good lunch places in Nantwich and great shops to buy provisions… and when do we give it back? Please be back by 09.30 am and leave the boat by 10.00am

Do we need a minimum crew?

In order to control the boat through locks and swing bridges you need a minimum of two participating adults: one to handle the boat, and one to work the lock or bridge (this is the physically more demanding of the two jobs). Neither can be primarily looking after other people or dogs. Older teenagers can be very helpful, but remember that the hirer is responsible for their supervision. If you have two adults plus small children, don’t plan too ambitious a route, and be open to child-centered distractions such as ducks or swings. If you have adults who need care, you may need extra crew. We regret we cannot hire to single-handed boaters, however experienced.

Will the children be bored?

Not for a moment. Children love the excitement of canal boating, especially when they can help at locks. There are also lots of things to do along the way depending on which route you take The wild life on the canal and surrounding woods is always a delight. As long as children are sensible there is no danger, but we do recommend that they (and any adult non-swimmers) wear life jackets, which we provide free.

Do we have to pay for locks or moorings?

No. We have paid the boat license fees and towpath mooring is free.

Will we have enough fuel and gas?

Yes, and it’s included in the price. If you need a toilet tank pump out we will repay you.

Will our car be OK?

You will park free of charge in the secure car park on site.

Can we bring our own phone?

Yes, although signal strength does vary along the canals.

Can we bring bikes or canoes?

Yes – but they have to live on the roof, so please bring something to protect our paintwork. The trees overhang on the canal so ensure they are secure on the roof.

Can we fish?

The fishing is let to many different clubs, only some of which issue day tickets. You must have a National Rod License.

Are all routes available?

On any waterway holiday, traffic may occasionally have to stop because, for instance, of emergency repairs to structures, flood on rivers, or water shortage on canals. (we don not suffer much in this respect) The Canal and Rivers Trust work very hard to prevent delays, but be prepared to change your route if something goes wrong. We would do everything we could to help, but you would not be entitled to compensation and must make every effort to get the boat back on time.